Jason Terry, maybe the NBA’s best sixth man of the past five years (Manu, I still see you), might start this year for the Boston Celtics.
Doc Rivers started Terry during the second game of the EuroTrip and has been experimenting with him in the starting lineup during practices, too. Obviously, Terry’s skill set makes him a near-perfect sixth man — he’s confident, aggressive, skilled and tends to make louder entrances than the asshole who revs his motorcycle as loudly as possible because he thinks it’s badass. But as Kevin Garnett notes, Terry’s skills also help the starting lineup. (ESPN Boston)
“It makes us that [much] more versatile,” Garnett said of making Terry a starter. “You have another shooter on the floor, another scorer, another veteran, knows how to play the game. Another ballhandler for Rondo, take Rondo off the ball. Doc has a lot of options in which he’s been playing with them a lot in practice.”
Terry, as expected, doesn’t care whether he comes off the bench or stands on the court for tip-off. His second-to-last sentence in the following quote is pretty phenomenal.
“Well, it’s all about having confidence in yourself and knowing your skill set,” Terry said. “Obviously I’m able to come off the bench and do what I do because I’m always ready. I’m always ready to score the ball and make an impact in the ballgame. As a starter, I was a starter for four years in Atlanta and three in Dallas, so either way it goes for me, it doesn’t matter. When the lights are on, when the crowd is cheering, or when they’re going against us, is when I’m at my best. So, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s game time.”
Terry’s quote, doctored a little for effect: “Whenever I can breathe and stand on a basketball court at the same time, I’m at my best.”
As usual this year, the moral of this story is macroscopic rather than microscopic. Rather than shouting, “LET’S ARGUE ABOUT WHETHER JASON TERRY SHOULD START BEFORE SEEING HIM PLAY A SINGLE GAME WITH THE CELTICS AGAINST NBA COMPETITION BECAUSE SHIT, HE’S BEEN SUCH A GREAT SIXTH MAN!” we should react to this by saying, “Hmm. Doc Rivers really has a lot of options. After he’s done with all his tinkering, let’s hope he has gotten his many decisions correct.”